[From Manxiana, 1870]


'Twas winter time, mid-winter everywhere,
And all without was numbing frost and snow,
When rap, rap, rap, I heard the knocker knock.
Ere morning light scarce glimmered in the East
On high Sky hill that in the distance rose,
Like a huge shadow on the distant sky.
So, tapping my window pane with lamp alight,
I, sailor like, instant was on the move
To tend the sick wherever it might be.
For such had custom taught me days gone by,
When in full practice of the healing art,
I night and day in country practice toiled.
"Well, what's the matter, friend ? " I quickly asked.
" My son, sir, dying; you must please come quick."
So, pocketing my doctor's case of drugs,
I with him toiled up, up the mountain. side,
Higher and higher, colder and colder too,
A five-mile walk, until at last we came
To the lone cottage near the mountain road
That goes by Snaefell. Here on humble couch
The shepherd lay — racked with severest pains.
As shepherd he the day before had been
Out hunting in the lost sheep of his flock,
'Midst snow and sleet, and hail, and mountain drift,
And brought them home all safe and sound again,
But caught a chill. "Good man," I gently said —
Example good to me — " I'll do my best for you."
So, ministering appropriate medicines for the case,
Recovery came — (Oh, how he thanked his God!) —
And with it, too, a blessing on us both;
To him hale health and strength to save his flock;
To me the grand example of his zeal,
As the good shepherd of his mountain sheep.


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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2002